April 18 Telephone Town Hall Discussion Summary for Illinois Home Care Aides

Rauner’s Cuts to the Community Care Program

  • Bruce Rauner has announced his intent to cut the Community Care Program by $120 million dollars. These cuts would move 36,000 seniors who are not on Medicaid out of the program and instead put them in a new, untested program called the Community Reinvestment Program.
  • From what we’ve heard so far, this Community Reinvestment Program will be a disaster for our seniors. Instead of a senior having their trusted home care aide around to do their laundry, help with housekeeping, to prepare healthy meals, and for transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, Rauner wants our seniors to deal with a revolving door of service providers.
  • Rauner says that instead of paying a home care aide to be there it will be cheaper to have a laundry service come in, and then a separate cleaning service. Seniors would receive meal vouchers instead of a home cooked meal, and Rauner wants them to take an uber to the doctor.
  • If Rauner gets his way, all seniors in the Community Care Program who are not on Medicaid will be impacted. This means that the home care aides that serve those seniors will also see their hours drastically cut.

The good news is that Rauner cannot unilaterally implement these changes and we are ready to fight back with our seniors and their advocates!

  • Rauner has submitted his proposal to the lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules or JCAR. These are the state senators and state representatives who approve or deny new rules in the state. Through the JCAR process there will be public hearings and opportunities to submit comments via mail and email to both the Department of Aging and to JCAR members directly.
  • It’s vital that we use every opportunity available to voice our concerns about the governor’s plans and also make the public aware of what he’s trying to do.
  • Hundreds of home care aides are going down to Springfield next Wednesday, April 26 to urge lawmakers to protect the Community Care Program and to support our bill for $15/hour.

The seniors who Rauner is targeting are those who are not on Medicaid so those are the seniors we are looking for to get involved and speak out to save their home care services. If the senior you care for is not on Medicaid and wants to join the fight to protect the Community Care Program, please call our Member Resource Center at 866-933-7348 and let them know so we can follow up with you and your senior.

 

HB 198: Raising the Illinois Minimum Wage to $15/hour

  • Last year our union successfully passed a bill out of the General Assembly that would have raised pay for home care aides in the Community Care Program to $15/hour. Both the House and the Senate supported that bill, but when it got to the governor’s desk, he vetoed it.
  • We just weren’t able to put enough pressure on Rauner to do the right thing and sign that bill to raise home care aide wages. But, we’re coming back this year with a wider coalition and a bill that will raise pay for all Illinois workers to $15/hour by 2022.
  • By fighting to raise the minimum wage for everyone, we are including even more Illinoisans in our fight. There are 2.3 million Illinois workers who earn less than $15/hour right now and if we all unite together, Governor Rauner won’t be able to veto this bill too. House Bill 198 will raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, with the first increase to $9 an hour in 2018.
  • HB 198 has already passed out of committee in the House, and we expect the full Illinois House of Representatives to vote on the bill soon – possibly the last week of April or the first week of May.
  • Our state economy is struggling and putting more money into the pockets of low-wage workers will give us the boost we need. Those of us who earn below $15/hour tend to spend more of our incomes on basic needs like groceries, bills, gas, and medicine. This will lead to an increase in consumer spending, which will drive growth across the economy.
  • Right now productivity and corporate profits are at a record high. If the minimum wage had kept up with these gains then it would be $18.50/hour today! But unfortunately, the reality is that nearly everyone who works for a living, except for the top 1%, have not received a fair share of profits that they’ve helped to create.
  • We’re going to all have to work together and get our friends, family, and neighbors involved in this fight. We have to create enough pressure on Governor Rauner so that he does not have the option to veto this bill. The governor is up for re-election in 2018 so we must make him feel like his campaign would be threatened by vetoing a minimum wage increase and that will take a huge public campaign.

Attend one of our upcoming membership meetings to learn more about our campaigns to protect the Community Care Program and to win a $15/hour minimum wage statewide!

Chicago: Saturday, April 29 at 10 a.m. at our union office located at 2229 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL.

Peoria: Saturday, April 29 at 10 a.m. at our union office located at 400 N.E. Jefferson, Peoria, IL.

Metro East: Saturday, April 29 at 11 a.m. at our union office located at 449 N. 33rd Street, East St. Louis, IL.

 

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